Fixdeldoe should be daily reading for every Delawarean.  The daily time wasted on the News Journal could be better spent reading there.

The pilot “group” delineated and funded in last years budget is set to introduce a pilot “program” into this years budget… it will be, if approved, implemented in 5 of Delaware’s school districts. Here are some red flags. (as rightfully prescribed by Fixdeldoe, scroll down to the last three pages.)

Red Flag 1:

The Department of Education is authorized and directed to implement the pilot plan… (line 12;page 227)

Red Flag 2:

The pilot may include up to five school districts beginning July 1, 2015.  (Which ones?  To be determined by the above….) (line 14; page 227)

Red Flag 3:

The intent of such flexible funding plan shall be to provide participating school districts with the ability to better coordinate resource allocation decisions with strategic planning and community input, build a system focused on outcomes, foster a climate more conducive to innovation and creativity, increase student performance by allowing the focus of resources on identified student needs, enable staffing decisions to occur at the earliest possible time, promote collaborative procurement practices and allow decision making closest to the student. (worded  exactly like Charter schools; worrisome because charters fail rate is 83% whereas public education succeeds close to 100%.)  (Translated:  just like the priority schools, they want to fire highly rated teachers without cause. Can this be priority fiasco Act 2?  Why yes…. it can.)

Red Flag 4

The Department of Education shall establish written criteria for participation in the pilot program...(Again we are voting and funding something that is not even developed. It will be… coming later.  Just like Common Core.  Just like the Smarter Balanced Assessments! just like Charter Schools.(line 20; page 227)

Red Flag 5

All relevant salary schedules and supplemental compensation contained in 14 Del. C. c. 13 and the 5 Annual Appropriations Act shall continue to be used for purposes of salaries of employees.  (The word relevant opens the door to interpretation over what “is” relevant; it could be anything the DOE chief just happens to decide in this lame duck year.Anything!   You tenure is not relevant.  Your past-earned degrees are not relevant… Student/teacher ratios are not relevant.  Public schools are not relevant.  You need a “school leader for $160,000; principals are not relevant.  Janitors are not relevant. Mechanics are not relevant.  School bus maintenance is not relevant…)  (line 4; page 228)

Red Flag 6

The Department shall establish an index value that is relative to that of a 1.0 teaching unit, for each unit- generating, employee group earned according to 14 Del. C. c. 13. Participating school districts may utilize positions among entitlement areas within their total weighted, earned unit entitlement for the school year.  (Currently the units are set by code… Beginning July 2011, the units were set as follows:

Preschool — 12.8 (pupils per unit or ppu)

K-3 — 16.2 ppu

4-12 Regular Education — 20 ppu

4-12 Basic Special Education (Basic) — 8.4 ppu

Pre K-12 Intensive Special Education (Intensive) — 6 ppu

Pre K-12 Complex Special Education (Complex) — 2.6 ppu

(As explained in the new law, a school could soon move resources away from special education and over to mainstream students as long as the total of the units in that school remained the same…. )  Corporate bureaucrats including members of the Chamber of Commerce, think all money on special education is wasted since no exceptional kid will ever work for them; they see special education as throw-away kids spending lots of throw-away money.

Red Flag 7

All such units must be authorized by the Department of Education under rules and regulations promulgated by the Department. (Again, asking for the right to make up their own rules regardless of laws passed by General Assembly which were fostered in public forum… these decisions again will be made behind closed doors.)

Red Flag 8

Participating school districts are authorized to receive cash for up to percent of the total weighted, earned unit entitlement. This option shall only apply if the district has not filled the position at any time during the fiscal year in which it was earned, and if the district makes application to the Department of Education no later than January 31st of the current fiscal year. This cash option value shall be the corresponding amount of a master’s degree plus 10 years of experience, as calculated in accordance with 14 Del. C. § 1305, inclusive of the appropriate 19 other employment costs.  ( A lot to give up for a bribe of $41,388 dollars)  and that cash comes at the end of a year and only if the position was vacant for full term… So a teacher slot that remained vacant over 2015, would be rewarded to that school district sometime after July 1st, 2016.

If you have no 1st grade teacher and can’t get one for a full year, you can use on-call substitutes and get a bonus of $41,388 the following year…  But wait…. what about the kids?  (obviously they were ignored in this financial wheeling and dealing)…..

Red Flag 9

For a flexible funding management plan, State entitlement appropriations shall be consolidated into a 21 single appropriation line  (Just a reminder, when we tried that with Charters, they bought themselves a new Mercedes and took multiple vacations on the money given to them…)

Red Flag 10

No later than December 31st of each year, school districts participating in the pilot shall provide the Secretary of Education with a report identifying district expenditures and revenues, delineated by federal, state and local funds, and an identification of the number and type of positions supported with state funding during the school year as compared to the positions entitled for funding. (Meaning that by February the new incoming Secretary of Education will get around to looking at these reports and go.. WTF…. These are a mitigated disaster!)

So who came up with this plan?  Go back one year, look at the budget and you will find that it was ….

The Department of Education is authorized to establish a working group to develop a pilot plan for education funding flexibility for consideration to be implemented through the Fiscal Year 2016 budget process. Said working group shall consist of the Secretary of Education (or designee), Director of the Office of Management and Budget (or designee), the Controller General (or designee), two members of the Joint Finance Committee appointed by the Co-Chairs, a representative from the Delaware State Education Association, a representative from the Delaware Association of School Administrators, a member of the Delaware School Chiefs Officers Association, and three members of the school business managers in which one of these members must represent a vocational-technical school district.

That is:

  • Secretary of Education
  • Director of Office of Management and Budget
  • Controller General
  • Joint finance committee member 1
  • Joint Finance Committee Member 2
  • A rep from DSEA
  • A rep from DASA
  • A rep from the Chief Officer’s Association
  • A member of school business administration 1
  • A member of school business administration 2
  • A member of one of the technical school business administrations.

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Eleven people…. of them, how many do you think are intimately in tune with what it takes to teach your kid?

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